Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
SDS-N, ADPL5, ADPCH, ADP1(2), ADPL1(GC), ADPL2(2), ADPL2(GC) and UWPCH... 34 and counting...

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Urban Tracking (62 & 63)

On Saturday the 18th, Gimme and I went back to Medline to recreate the exercise from the time before, without all the unnecessary length. This time the track was 320 yards. The conditions were cool and damp with minimal breeze. Track was aged 35 minutes.

I have to say, Gimme was amazing on this track. Once she warmed up to it (just after the first turn), she just motored along with her nose down. She barely noticed the landscaping strips. The green truck arrived after I laid the track and was slightly overlapping our track. Gimme wasn't bothered by it.

She was more distracted by the woman who approached us and didn't get my hints about staying back (red dashed line). She really wanted to meet "the Dalmatian" and I told her she could, but not until she finished working. She followed just a few feet behind me, but then couldn't wait until we were done, since she was arriving for work. At first Gimme was really distracted and wanted to go meet this new fan, but with some encouragement was able to refocus and continue nicely. This was very hard distraction for my little social butterfly.

The gray triangle next to the third turn was a glass door. I know doors can affect scent so I made note of it, but there was no sign Gimme was affected. From there to the end was easy peasy. The article next to the landscaping strip was laid on its edge against the far curb and Gimme was going so fast I worried she'd miss it, but she turned on a thin dime to pounce on it and demand payment. This was a really lovely track and I was sooooooo pleased.


Nadine and I met at Auburn Cinema the morning of Thanksgiving, Thursday the 23rd. Since the parking lot of the adjacent shopping center was almost completely empty and traffic was non-existent, we moved over there to lay our tracks. It was a new place as far as the dogs were concerned and it was nice to have ample space.

Oddly it was much trashier than the cinema parking lot. People are such pigs, clearly cleaning out their cars and just dumping their trash in the lot.

Our task was three straight tracks, 75, 100 and 150 yards. The conditions were cool and damp with almost no breeze. We staggered the time and even started Cricket's track early. She seemed to struggle with focus and so Gimme's track was older than it was supposed to be - coming in at 40 minutes.

Gimme again did a great job, just motoring along with her nose down. She was distracted briefly by a dirty diaper, but then got right back to work. From nosework we know dogs are often more distracted by novel smells than by yummy smells. Certainly the diaper was novel, as well as gross.

It's been interesting to watch this progression with Gimme. When the whether first turned wet, I really thought she'd find tracking on pavement easier. Instead she acted like she didn't know what to do and couldn't find her track. At the time it didn't occur to me that the track might smell very different, so I blamed it on a "lack of focus". After these two tracks, where she did such a stellar job, I realize she just had to figure out what to do about this different scent. Last winter we were just starting urban tracking after she got her TD in November and we were still doing field tracking about half the time to keep Cricket's skills tuned up in case she got in a trial. Thus, Gimme didn't have a lot of hard surface experience/skill, so I probably didn't notice any difference.

I am so very happy with the progress she's making. Oh how I love my smarty pants.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Nosework (5/28)

The challenges for this class were puzzles the dog needed to solve to to get into where the odor was. There were three puzzles and the way in was changed between searches. Gimme thought this was huge fun.

Interior 1 search, no video - There was a search in the foyer, one hide. Gimme found the hide very quickly, but I didn't believe her. The hide was in the weather stripping under the door and I thought she was just smelling odor from the other room. So I wasn't responding to her indication, no matter how vigorous it got. I think I would have believed her if it had been the door to the office. Trust your dog!

Interior 2 search video - The co-instructor was taking our videos and while she said she was ready, the beginning of Gimme's first puzzle was cut off, so you don't get to see her figuring out how to get in. You can see she had no problem working without me right there. On the second puzzle by the time Gimme got into it, she was frustrated, so it took her a bit to settle down and source the hide. There were two hides out of puzzles on the carts. I don't know what the deal was with the bathroom - she seems to not like this bathroom lately. It has never been a problem before.

Interior 3 search video - I was mistaken about the hide on the cart, I thought it was under the center of the top. It was supposed to be inaccessible and as you can see, Gimme clearly accessed it, getting her whole head under the cart. With all her parkour work, I'm betting I could have given her a "below" cue to go under the ladder into the first puzzle, but she quickly found her own way in. On the second puzzle, the fencing kept me back from the table so Gimme had to bounce up to see I was there. When she goes in the bathroom, she starts in then stops to look back and make sure I'm going to be there. As our friend Janet said, "This girl doesn't work for nothing." All the dogs found the opening for the bathroom puzzle while approaching from the right side.

These were long searches and Gimme really enjoyed them. She had a nice long snooze after we got home.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

RFE Practice (57)

We have entered the World Wide competition at intermediate level, so I'm concentrating on coursework and intermediate behaviors (and the elusive paw lift from novice).

"Pivot" video - We started with a quick warm-up on her brick, just to get her mind into working. There was a lot of distraction in the background, so I wanted to take advantage of this favorite well-known behavior.

1st run through video - The first station is a free choice and I want to do Gimme's "scoot". She was doing it at our last practice, but this time I have to really work with her to get it. Of course she offers a "grape" (roll over). I love her "grape", but once I pay for it, it gets thrown at me anywhere. She loves men/boys, so I lose her to a crowd in the middle of resolving this. When she did it, I should have thrown the treat to her in place. Next was backing in "heel" - we're seeing a little improvement there. Right 270 goes as well as one could expect with her very loose heeling. Gimme was losing focus and starting to forge when I gave her the "spin" cue, so it was more of an oval turn. The next exercise is a backwards-thru-3x. It's a weird exercise, which has never looked good to me no matter who is doing it. We hadn't practiced it in awhile, so it wasn't smooth at first. The simultaneous 180 was loose and was supposed to be a dog-inside-180-pivot. For the next free choice, Gimme knew she was going to get on the stool - she just forgot to wait for me to tell her to do so. I'll bring in my own more-stable prop next time, so it doesn't move as she is trying to "bacon" onto it. Her free choice "pivot" was nice. At the next turn I actually cued her to go "thru" when it was left-turn-circle-trx; the cue should have been "around". The next station was a thru-trx to the other side, which she did very nicely. The thru-trx at the next corner proved very challenging because of all the distracting stuff in the corner. Using "grape" for the next free choice was not a good idea and would bite me later. Gimme had been doing "izzy" so well and lately it's been deteriorating. I think I tried to do it in too many strange places before she was really ready for it. She did do it beautifully with a little refresher. Next was a simultaneous 180. She did a lovely "take-a" bow. I must, Must, MUST remember to continue past the last sign... it's points off if I forget on a video submission. When I did try the dog-inside-180-pivot I still did it wrong. We need to practice it on the brick. Gimme is likely to pivot around me instead of holding her front feet in place because of how I taught it to her first.

2nd run through video - Because Gimme's heeling was so loose during the first run through, I wanted to do another run, leaving out most of the behaviors and focusing on the heeling. Gimme's heeling is really nice when she can just move and go. It's the stopping and starting which throws her off - it's not fun for her. Here when I left out the behaviors and just did the turns and side changes, she did well and seemed to enjoy it. I broke out of the moving heeling stuff to deal with the distraction in the far corner, where she misses the "thru". It took several tries to get her focused and working well through it.

"Scoot" training video - My preference is for her to "scoot" away from me directly in front and in this session she was angling strongly to the right. I chose to reward it anyway, since she was moving a nice distance with a prompt response.

3rd run through video - I again walked the course focusing on heeling. This time I added stops at each station and clicked/treated each stop and sometimes when we were moving. It went well and she stayed attentive throughout.

4th run through video - Here I added behaviors back into the course. Gimme did better on her "scoot". Backing in heel was still weak. It's been a challenge for us, so unless it's magically perfect on entry video day, we'll add a foot target for her to back to for the first run throughs and then take it out for the final one. The 270 turn was better. She still forged at the beginning of the spin - I may have to rethink my position on the fancy footwork for heeling. I've never needed it before, but I've never had a go-go-go dog before. At the very least I have to use "halt" to let her know we're stopping. Since we won't be doing standard obedience we haven't done much with change of pace, maybe I should. The backward-thru-3x went well. I really have to work on the right-180-pivot. Her free-choice behaviors were okay, but need polish. Her circle on the circle-trx was too wide. We again had distraction in the corner. the free choice paw-to-knee went well. This time only 2 tries for the "izzy". The last two stations were good. Overall better than the first run through, but still needs a lot of work.

Distracting corner videoDuring the set up getting there, I see she was also distracted at the corner before, but I didn't work it. It takes a few tries to get her focus, but then she does it flawlessly twice.

Sidepass into dog video - Gimme does this better moving left than right. Also I can just shuffle my feet moving left, whereas I have to step across moving right. I'm also shifting my shoulder forward to make sure I'm not giving her any back-behind-me body cue. The shoulder cue is really subtle, but Gimme always notices it. Once she is more consistent in both directions, then I'll add the cue "move". I think once the verbal cue is on the behavior, then it will progress even more. It was going well until I stepped on her foot. There was one brilliant moment where I had her go into "side" using "behind" and I was sidestepping when she got there and she really did nice sidepass beside me - sadly, J'Anna forgot to keep the camera on us. A really nice one was when I started with my feet apart and as I closed my feet together (toward her) Gimme started the sidepass. I didn't notice it at the time, but see it on video. I want to try it again, as I could easily stop at a sidepass station with my feet separated.

Paw lift video - I thought "high" (right paw lift) was on more of a verbal than it seemed to be here. Once I got her started from in front it went well. I think starting in front and then gradually pivoting into "side" works well. For a long time I was going to use the cues "high" and "five", but decided they were too similar. Then went to "high" and "fiverrrr", but the words' beginnings are still too similar and I forget the "rrr" too often. So now I've decided to make it "high" and "low". There's an issue with her bringing up the right paw at the same time and a bit lower than the left paw, so need to work that out. I should jackpot when she keeps the right paw planted while the left comes up.

5th run through video - She forgot how to heel since the last run through. I tried something a little different on "scoot", but it didn't seem to help. She's still doing the fishtail backing in heel.  I wish I had someone with good timing to click it when she steps straight. We'll get through the entry video by using a foot target. The spin was nicer when I cued a "halt" first. Her backward-thru-3x was nice this time. I just have to put time into the dog-inside-pivot using the brick - we started on it once and it was going nicely. Some things were okay, but most were not as good as the 4th run through. Honestly her brain was just used up.

Next practice I plan to do a heeling walk through to tune up her heeling. Then I'll work the individual behaviors separate from the course. Then work the corners separately before I put it all together. We've got to start using her "bowl" too, to get the food off me for the entry video day.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

New Title #30

Well we did it - we just got word that our submission for ADPL1(2GC) met the requirements, so Gimme is awarded the title. This is her 30th title.

I got it ready while we were waiting on results from the previous title. This was our first submission on the Grand Champion track, which has different requirements at each level than regular. So, I wanted to get it in with plenty of time to spare in case I had to re-video something. Catching a time when it's not raining, it's daylight, and I'm not working or otherwise unavailable, gets challenging this time of year.

This site was a challenge. I got almost everything taped and then realized the thing I'd planned to jump-clean wasn't going to work. So you'll see I found a piece of branch which had fallen from a tree, propped it against the playground equipment to make a jump. Gimme thought I was nuts, but fortunately she'll do anything if the pay is right. I used a piece of the same branch to weave through the tennis net to hold the bottom up so Gimme could go "below" it. I want to teach her to push under on her own for another title. The jump-assisted had to be redone because I dropped the leash and the rules say she can't use an EF higher than her elbow if she's off leash. So we went back to do it with me threading a longer leash through the opening.

The final bugaboo was getting the tree weaves. Doing it with six trees made us soooooo small at the other end I thought we'd be too hard to see. So we did it again with four trees, but when I reviewed it at home, saw a car had come too close at the very end (the trees are in a landscaping strip right next to the road - in a residential area).  While I trust Gimme to "come" when I call her, I didn't want to show it publicly.  So again we went and this time got it, on the 9th try. Who knew there'd be so much more traffic at 2:00 p.m. At least I could be happy at all the wonderful recall practice Gimme got.

You can see the video at: Lakepointe Park parkour video.

Naturally I had to reward Gimme's efforts with a steak-cake and a new toy.  The cake was decorated with 30 peanut butter chips.

Gimme thinks posing with her cake and toy are overrated and she should be allowed to immediately get down to the business of enjoying them.

For a few minutes, as I was cutting the tags off the toy, I thought the steak-cake might be ignored.  The cake only lasted a few seconds.  I think Gimme knew the delay would be minimal.  She's sleeping with Mr. Frog as we speak... 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Nosework (4/28)

Gimme was quite put out about the sweater - she doesn't think it suits her. I had to get a size larger than would have been correct because they didn't have her size. She decided she liked it better after everyone made a fuss before the first search. Of course it didn't keep her from taking it off the next day.

Exterior 1 video - Our first search was outside around a bunch of construction stuff. The video isn't good in some places, but it's enough to give you an idea of how she handled this search. Gimme was the only dog to go down the right side and I think it contributed to how fast she found the first two hides. Other dogs got close to the second hide, then moved around to the other side before coming back to source it. She had passed the threshold hide on the way into the search area, finding it quickly at the end.

These two interior searches were about working thresholds. I didn't think they were effective for Gimme, since we have worked out our own style on thresholds where I let her burst into the area and then ease her back toward the threshold. If it's off leash, I let her go and hang around the threshold, which draws her back. I've had judges compliment our approach. I thought Gimme found this exercise frustrating, as did I a little bit.

Interior 1 video - Set up using four thresholds: the door to the foyer, door to training room, door to bathroom, and door going out the back. Gimme did the best on the door to the foyer, probably because it was a small area and she's not used to bursting in there. Other than jerking my arm off as she expected to burst into the training room, she actually did pretty good on this hide too. The hide in the bathroom took forever - I never would have stuck there in a trial. The hide going out the back door went really fast.

Interior 2 video - Same general layout, but each hide was moved a bit. The last hide was moved inside the back door. Gimme would have walked the first hide, had the leash not brought her back - even so she had it in 30 seconds. She was very fast on the second hide. She was much faster on the bathroom and caught the last hide quickly as well. Gimme shaved 40 seconds off this series of searches.

These were nice searches after having a week off. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Carla's Toys

Here is Gimme inspecting my new toys.  She thought they were surely for her.

Gimme is unimpressed with the whole idea that I think *I* should get to have three toys of my own, when she only has a few hundred for herself.

Aren't they just the cutest things.  I am unreasonably happy with my find.  I want 20 more... so I could have a whole community of them.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Urban Tracking (59, 60 & 61)

On Friday, Nov. 3rd we met with Nadine at Game Farm Park.

Based on the book we were scheduled to set up a zig-zag track with intentional contamination. So we each laid track for the other, meeting in the middle on the west side of the park, and then we each followed the paved path back to the cars, going through the track the other laid, thus laying our own contamination.

The conditions were cool and wet (my shoes were soaked quickly), slight breeze, and aged 30 minutes. There was a loose dog on part of our track (green circle) as well as two walkers with a dog. Black line is the track, blue squares are articles and red dashed line along the gray paved path is my contamination, which was also the route the walkers/dog went.

As we ran the track, Nadine followed, walking her old dog Skookum about 15 yards behind us. I would have had her back off or stop following altogether, but it wasn't necessary. Gimme was a bit distracted in the beginning, but then decided to ignore Skookum.

Gimme did a great job crossing the path and my contamination, with no real sign she was having trouble sorting it out. This is really nice, since she follows my track most Saturdays, so it's a nice sign she stayed committed to the track even though she crossed my familiar smell. She did have a little problem with the second corner, where the loose dog was playing, but finally worked it out. Overall she did a nice job.

On Thursday, Nov. 9th, we met with Nadine at Auburn Cinema.

We are doing the parking lot sessions twice, since tracking on pavement is harder for our dogs, plus it works well with our schedule. We like to do the cinema on Thursdays when the parking lot sweeper isn't there (and doesn't vacuum up our articles).  We repeated the session from two weeks earlier, switching sides of the parking lot. It was three straight tracks of 75, 100 and 125 yards. The conditions were wet and cool, with an easy breeze.

Gimme did very nicely on the 75 and 100 yard tracks; she was right on the track almost the whole time. For the last track, she started out well, then got distracted by parking lot trash (which is really everywhere there). Nadine had to make a 30-degree bend in the track because a man was there with a big truck working on the electrical panel. So instead of a straight track, it bent to the left for 20 yards and then bent right to follow the curb for 5 yards to the final glove. When Gimme got to this puzzle, it seemed to get her attention and she focused and did beautifully for the last 25 yards.

On Saturday, Nov. 11th, Gimme and I went to Medline.

I wanted to give her a different challenge, so I planned to take her track up to the building and along the front of it. The track turned out much longer than I realized, 542 yards. She can do long tracks, but I think it was really unnecessary given the challenges. The conditions were good, cool and wet and the track was 30 minutes old.

The dashed line is a covered picnic area. I know from our seminars with Sil Sanders how much covered areas affect the behavior of scent. The circles are picnic tables. The orange table had three women sitting at it when we ran the track. They got up and walked closer to us before turning to go in the door (just as we came up to the second table).

Overall Gimme did well. She was a little unfocused on the first and second legs. She did fine crossing the landscaping and made the turn nicely on the sidewalk next to the building. The presence of the women was distracting and when they moved it was even more so.  Once they were in the building, Gimme was able to get back to work. She seemed to lose focus on the last two legs, but, as always, was happy to find her articles.

I'd like to do this again. I think I can do a better job setting articles closer to the challenges, so they make more effective reward points. I'd also want to make this a shorter track. The last three legs were 207 yards which added nothing.

Gimme is progressing nicely on this urban stuff.  It was really slow going at first, but there has been a LOT of progress this summer.  I love how she is so easily motivated and always up for whatever thing I want to do. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

New Titles #28 and 29

I was so busy through much of the summer and didn't spend much time doing dog-stuff. So Gimme and me have been on mad dash to make my goal before we close out 2017. We're almost there.

This weekend we learned we completed the requirements for parkour titles ADPL5 and ADPCH. This required us to qualify on three level five submissions.

Homann Park video - This was easy to video, but I made a mistake and misunderstood the rules. I knew at level 5 we had to have two advanced behaviors, but I had missed the requirement for them to be two different advanced behaviors. So I had to go back to video another advanced behavior and then resubmit. 

Lake Lois Park video - This was a good site, but I kept going back to change things. I review all the individual clips on the camera before I leave, but invariably see something else once I get it home on a larger screen. There was some question on a jump I had Gimme do. Since I let go of the leash it had to be below her elbow. I hadn't understood this particular nuance of the rules, so was lucky to be just within the rules.

Decatur Park video - This was a nice site with great props (environmental features), but it's right in the middle of a housing area and kids are coming and going a lot of the time. It had a nice set of trails attached, so Gimme and I got to take a nice relaxing walk in the middle of one session, waiting for some kids to leave.

The rules don't let us use playgrounds when children are using them. I typically plan what I'm going to do and then take video in whatever order works for the day. Often I have to wait for kids to leave or I have to come back another time.

While I was waiting for the results on ADPL5/CH I've already taken video for the next submission. It'll be my first for the Grand Champion track, so I hope I have it right. I'll be preparing it tonight. I want to get it submitted right away so I have time between rainstorms to get over there and redo a video if I have to change something.

I'm also scouting the area for the right features to use for the International Dog Parkour Association's new titling program - specialty titles. I want to do the Walk-On, Four-On and Below specialties. There is another, Tic-Tac, but we haven't trained the behavior well enough and I'd be concerned about the physical stress unless it was well trained. I haven't actually looked at the requirements, so I may reconsider at some point.

Gimme loves parkour and I love anything Gimme loves.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

RFE practice (56)

When we arrived they had a crew taking down Halloween decorations in the same room we were using. J'Anna's dog couldn't have handled it, but I used it as an opportunity to reinforce working through distraction. I waited too long to use "whazzat", but when I remembered it was so much clearer for Gimme.

Backward weaves video - The way I was working this last time didn't work this week. My idea to use a hand touch and using the guides to channel her were both a bust. I ended up switching to a back-up target and working on getting her backing through my legs and then switching it up so she was backing the first part of the weave. It was hard to keep it straight in my head, but once I got it, then she did better. Initially I was trying to back into position for her, but it worked better when I walked around her and stepped over. I think she was confused by the time we've spent working on backing at heel or side, so when I walked across the front the "wait" was clearer.

Backing in heel video - I use the guides to create a barrier so we can work without the fishtail affect. She seemed inclined to curl behind me in "side" position, which is odd since it's her less comfortable turning direction. I think it may be a holdover from all the work we did on "izzy". When I broke it down to shorter distances she seemed to get it.

"Fanny" video - I set up parallel guides so I could be sure Gimme was aligned when I was rewarding her, since she's had a tendency to be off to one side or the other. The first thing I had to do was encourage Gimme to come into the channel. I don't think she was worried by it, just confused. Once she realized the treats would come in there, she was all about going in with me. At home I can set up a line of platforms to encourage her to stay in position.

Sidepass into dog video - She tries different responses to the hand signal, such as up-"touch", "kisses", spins (as if she thinks I'm luring a spin) and even takes it as a new cue for "otto". I think this generally means she's confused and is just trying different things to see what will make me happy. I think coming up with a distinct hand signal would be a fast solution. I was going to use "slip" for a verbal cue, but "move" has a more distinct sound. I like the hand cue I was using (I'd have both hands out with a bit of a sashay to it) and I think I need to do a few clicks her for standing beside me without popping up. I will probably get penalized for the hand cue, but I'm willing to take the hit for now.

Interestingly, in practice I found the high hand signal unnecessary. What I've been doing is using the near-hand as needed, to remind her where she needs to be. I just drop the hand in front of where she needs to be and she's drawn back into position. I've only done it during the one practice though, so it's too soon to know if it's the answer.

Distance behaviors video - I did learn we can't use her brick or any other target for the distance behavior, so I'm working on other options. The requirement is for Gimme to back up four steps and then perform an independent behavior (not sit or down). So here I'm working on her doing independent behaviors behind a barrier. She actually does "spin" and "turn" behind the kitchen gate, but this is the first time I've asked her to do it anywhere else. I can see my timing is off; it should be verbal cue then hand signal and I am mushing them together. It doesn't help that I then get confused and use the wrong verbal. Poor Gimme, it's a wonder she ever gets her cues right. For the second session we work on down behind the barrier, with no directional discrimination. This is when she offers me "scoot", a behavior we haven't worked on in a verrrrry long time.

"Mark" video - I was focusing on rewarding duration of the head-down. I'm training this using backchaining, since it is a sequence. We get to 4½ seconds on the last one. When Gimme doesn't know what is expected, she starts offering behaviors and we'd been stuck at 3 seconds for awhile, so this was nice improvement. I do have to say it's a good thing I don't need her tail to be still. Just sayin...

Finding positions video - When she's done a lot of brain work, I like to do our finding positions game. She gets to chase a thrown treat when she finds the correct position, which burns off any built up stress or frustration. Sometimes I throw in some "thru" to make it more interesting.

"Grape" & "scoot" video - Since Gimme was offering me "scoot" (backwards crawl) in our second distance session, I decided to let her end with it. Of course, she then gives me "grape" instead. But we get "scoot" afterward. It really is a cute behavior and I should work on it for free choice. We are due for another one.

We covered a lot of ground in these sessions. Some of what we are working on isn't needed until we get to advanced. Between now and our entry into the World Wide RFE video event I'll be focusing on intermediate behaviors.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Nosework (3/28)

In honor of Halloween we did totally blind searches, meaning in total darkness (as we've done for the last two years at this time). Handlers and dogs wore little glow stick necklaces, so you could see where they were. There were also glow sticks on the floor and near the hides, so you could get a small sense of what was going on. Obviously no videos.

Interior 1 - Four hides in the dark. Gimme moved around at very close to her normal speed. There was no sign of the dark being a hindrance. Of course, the superior night vision of animals is well known and given how she searched it certainly seems true.

Interior 2 - The 4 hides were all moved, but Gimme still found them quickly. This was much easier for her than it was for me - I walked into a couple chairs.

Interior 3 - One odor-bomb hide, placed under a table, inside a couple of ex-pens, with some chairs and other obstacles. There were three ways in, but they weren't obvious even when the lights were on. Gimme very quickly found the scent and sniffed all the way around the puzzle. Then she left the it, taking a quick tour of the room, scanning for an easier hide. After the 20 second room scan she came back to the puzzle and quickly found her way in to the hide. One curious thing - all the dogs went in whatever way they found and then exited one of the other ways. Not one of them retraced their route to get out of the puzzle.

It was clear they weren't hampered by the darkness.

Since then I've submitted our level 5 parkour entries to All Dogs Parkour. I should get the results soon (last time I submitted it only took five days). When it comes Gimme will have titles #28 and #29. Meanwhile I've already taped the behaviors for our level 1 entries toward her parkour Grand Championship. This will be our 30th title, my goal for this year. We'll need ten more entries to get the GC.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

UKC Nosework match

Again, blogging out of order, but by now you know I can't resist bragging about my brilliant girl. I learned of this UKC nosework match just over a week ago and was able to get into it. I haven't read their rules, but couldn't pass up the chance to try it. Rather than giving Gimme more chances to show us how well she remembers where the last hide was, I entered her in both containers and interiors at both levels, novice and advanced, instead of entering for reruns.

Today I drove to Graham in snow coming down like crazy. It was too warm to stick, so didn't have to worry about the road being icy, but at times it was hard to see. The site was nice, but brrrrrrr it was cold.

Novice Containers - It was twelve boxes with one hide (birch) and 3 minutes allotted for search time, which seems like a lot of time. Gimme had the hide in 17.75 seconds for 3rd place. 1st place dog had it in 7.21 and 2nd place had it in 10 seconds. I saw Gimme tip her nose toward the odor box on the way by, but she continued to the end of the row, then indicated on her way back down the row. Maybe I should have showed her the chicken nugget I had for her.

Novice Interiors - A tiny search area marked with tape, 1 hide (birch) and 3 minutes allotted search time. While Gimme dawdled for a couple seconds checking out a cone, she still had the hide in 22.1 seconds for first place. The second place dog was just short of a minute.

Novice Overall - Gimme took High in Match with 39.85 seconds overall time.

Advanced Containers - Twelve boxes, one hide (anise) and 3 minutes allotted search time. Gimme went up and down the row three times, but still had it in 23.5 seconds and came away with 2nd place.

Advanced Interiors - Larger search area, one hide (anise) and 4 minutes allotted search time. This was our first chance to go off leash. Gimme did a quick scan of the whole area, only leaving it briefly, then came back and quickly nailed the inaccessible hide. Her time was 33.03 seconds and she got 1st place. The judge for interiors said Gimme was the only dog to find it blind (other than the "white dog"). She said another handler, who ran two dogs, found it with her second dog, but she knew where the hide was and so tended to hang near the hide. The judge thought Gimme was awesome and I had to agree.

Advanced Overall - Gimme took High in Match again with 56.53 seconds overall time.

I know it was only a match, but clearly Gimme is ready to play in UKC nosework. This group is holding a trial next year, probably in May. There is another trial nearby the weekend after Thanksgiving, but that is the weekend when we'll be playing barn hunt and weight pull.

We drove home in even stronger snow most of the way. It started petering out as we got close to home, turning to rain. As luck would have it, it became a light drizzle as we approached Lacey. I drove by Lake Lois Park in hopes we could re-video one of our parkour behaviors. The drizzle stopped and we were able to get it done. Just as we were getting back in the van, the rain came back.

Now with the heat turned up and a hot soak behind me, I am feeling thawed and normal again. And Gimme may just get some steak I have thawing as we speak... just sayin'...

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween 2017

Last year Gimme dressed up as a well-known literary character.  Despite our best efforts to include lots of clues, no one guessed who she was.  This made us sad. 

So this year she dressed as a very familiar musician.  Can you guess who she's impersonating???